What is an Integrated Classical Program?

The Integrated Classical Program at Star of the Sea School is part of a growing “Classical Curriculum” movement in our country. This approach to education takes many forms, from the Classical Conversations program so popular among homeschoolers to the Waldorf Schools preferred by many in the tech industry. Children learn in three stages: reading, thinking, and speaking. We begin first by “reading” the natural world around us, both through language and pictures. We next to “think” about what we’ve read, making logical connections between all these facts and experiences. Finally, we “speak” to others, through articulate discourse, about the logical order we’ve discovered.

Classical education calls these three stages the “trivium:” grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In kinder through second grade children will focus on “grammar,” which includes memorizing facts and lists of natural phenomenon, learning the terminology that expresses these phenomena. In third through fifth grades students will move into “logic,” which discovers the rational order among all these facts and phenomena. In sixth through eighth grades students will develop “rhetoric,” which articulates this logic through oral presentation and discursive argumentation.

Classical education teaches students critical thinking skills through an integrated education in the humanities and the liberal arts, giving students a mental agility with which they can excel in any career. It leads to a sense of wonder at the beautiful order of God’s creation by studying the Great Books, the high-water marks of our culture’s great thinkers and artists. Finally, and most essentially, a Catholic Classical education understands everything in the natural world as ordered by God and redeemed in Christ Jesus. The world is rationally ordered to and through the Logos, the Word spoken by God to us, his beloved creation.

2019-20 will be our first year as a Catholic Classical school in San Francisco. You can see how Classical Curriculums have developed in other Catholic schools around the country by visiting their websites. We recommend St. Therese Carmelite School in Alhambra (CA); Our Lady of Lourdes in Denver; and St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville (MD). We also recommend the following articles on Classical Education: Classical Education is more than a Method, by Martin Cothran, and What is Classical Education?, by Susan Wise Bauer.

We welcome your child’s application to Star of the Sea Classical School.

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